Waverley wind farm decision likely to be early in 2017
A decision on a proposed wind farm for Waverley has stalled while more information is sought.
Trustpower is seeking resource consent to spend $325 million to build a 48-turbine wind farm on coastal land six kilometres southeast of Patea and seven kilometres southwest of Waverley and has applied for a resource consent.
The South Taranaki District Council has asked the company to liaise with iwi and provide cultural impact assessments. It also asked for more information on the noise and visual effects its proposed wind farm will have at Waverley.
It would be the first wind farm in New Zealand to be built on flat terrain rather than a hill, and this could increase the noise from the 160-metre-high turbines, environmental engineer David Forrest said in a report for the council.
Once the information requested was provided, processing of the application would continue, planning manager Blair Sutherland said.
"At this stage it is likely that a decision will be made early next year."
Twenty four submissions were received by the South Taranaki District Council in June, many of them either against the plan or calling for further consultation.
Some of the requests for more information were in response to community concerns.
Several submitters had noted that cultural impact assessments were lacking in the application, so the council had requested that it provide them.
Other submitters had raised concerns about the noise levels near houses and some were concerned about the visual effect on their homes at Waverley.
If consent was granted, market conditions as well as a number of other factors would dictate when the project would commence, Trustpower lead environmental adviser Ryan Piddington said in June.
However, the project would employ 80 to 100 people during the construction and then eight or ten to operate it, Piddington said.
"We are applying for a 10 year lapse period to the consent which would give us 10 years from granting to exercise the consents."
Trustpower operates 38 hydro power stations across 19 hydroelectric power schemes, and two wind farms.